Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Prompt: Demons and Faeries Don’t Mix, Part 1

“Rachel? Can you come take a look at this?” The young boowen nurse looked anxious and tapped her hindclaws on the tiled floor. Rachel sighed. Boowen didn’t wear shoes well, but it still bothered her to see bare feet in the ICU. But Kibya had a good head on her shoulders and good instincts, so Rachel put down her charts and stood, stretching her arms and trying not to stare at the still-unfamiliar silver nets she wore under her scrubs.

“What’s up, Kibya?” She said, rolling her neck. She fought back a chuckle as Kibya looked up in alarm. Boowen were extremely literal. “I mean, what do you need?”

Kibya led her down the hall to the far IC Unit. Two immense shantuck males stood guard at the door. Rachel raised her eyebrows, but held her hands flat in front of her as she passed them. They gave no response to her gesture of respect, but they did not block her way. She had proven herself more than once. Shantuck guards? This was going to be good. She smiled, barely remembering to cover her teeth with her lips as she opened the door.

Good thing, too. The largest demon she had ever seen lay on the table, black blood dripping from its eyes, nose and mouth. She scanned down the table and saw more blood. It was coming from underneath the claws… This was no injury…

“Dammit!” She shoved Kibya behind her and out the door. “Isolate! Isolate! Seal this room now!” She slapped the alarm by the door and heard the reassuring whoosh of air as the room was sealed. The demon turned its head and stared at her with golden eyes. “Good,” it hissed, and she saw at least three forked tongues. “You protect your people—”

“And you,” Rachel retorted. She stood tall and spread her arms wide. She couldn’t overpower so much as a peltew, but demons seemed to respond best when she put on her most confident nurse’s face. She took a slow, deep breath and stepped forward. “Now, let me see what’s wrong with you.”

“Aren’t you afraid of me? Of this?” The demon held up a long forearm and its golden eyes watched the blood drip down onto the tiles below.

Rachel ignored the taunt—or threat—and focused on the blood. Her vision narrowed, and all the light in the room seemed to shine directly on the thick black flow. She wasn’t conscious of moving forward, until she leaned over the demon’s face and looked directly into its eyes. The golden lens was filled with tiny black veins, slowly filling the demon’s sight with its own death.

Rachel pressed her hand on the demon’s shoulder, rubbing the sensitive spot that seemed to calm almost every demon species she’s met so far. “You’re not going to die on my watch.”

The demon hissed in quick breaths, and it took Rachel a moment to realize it was laughing. “Good, human. I give my life to you then, if you can save it.”

Rachel snatched her hand away. She knew a demon oath when she heard one. What was she going to do with another bound demon? Well, time enough for that later. She nodded and stepped back to the panel by the door. Tapping the button, she said with a calmness that the hospital staff had learned to pay close attention, “Where is Nazu? And Dr. Ablidioni. Stat.”

Rachel's story started last summer and has continued in these posts:

Dogs in House

Styx, Paradise Theater

Time writing
~40 minutes

April word count

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